Official Opposition Demands Top Trudeau Aide Appear Before Committee

“Conservatives will again demand that Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, appear before the House Procedure and House Affairs Committee (PROC) on the matter of Chinese Communist Party election interference,” said the Opposition in a statement.

The Official Opposition is demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford appear before the House Procedure & House Affairs Committee to discuss China’s interference in Canada’s democratic institutions.

The statement is a reassertion of a demand the Conservatives made in a February 21st motion that was significantly altered and weakened by the Liberals & NDP.

There is a new urgency to the demand, following recent Global News reporting on China’s election interference.

The text of the original motion can be read below:

“That, given the recent Globe and Mail reports written by Steven Chase and Robert Fife which brought forward shocking revelations regarding Beijing’s strategy to interfere and influence Canada’s democratic institutions, the Committee:

a) extend its study of Foreign Election Interference by as many meetings as required to investigate these reports and, to that end, schedule at least one meeting on February 23, 2023, and at least two meetings during the week of February 27, 2023;

b) invite senior officials from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Elections Canada (including the Commissioner of Canada Elections), the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, the Critical Elections Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) Panel, and the Privy Council Office to testify on these reports;

c) invite Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister;

d) invite The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to return to testify on these reports;

e) invite The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety;

f) invite The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, to return to testify on these reports;

g) invite Jody Thomas, National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister;

h) invite The Honourable Marc Garneau, former Minister of Foreign Affairs;

i) invite The Honourable Bill Blair, former Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;

j) invite Vincent Rigby, former National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister;

k) invite David Morrison, former Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister;

l) hear each of the foregoing witnesses in public; and

m) order the production of all memoranda, briefing notes, e-mails, records of conversations, and any other relevant documents, including any drafts, which are in the possession of any government department or agency, including SITE, CEIPP, any Minister’s Office, and the Prime Minister’s Office, containing information concerning efforts by, or on behalf of, foreign governments or other foreign state actors to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 general elections, including the documents which were quoted in the Globe and Mail reports, provided that,

(i) these documents be deposited without redaction with the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, in both official languages and within three weeks of the adoption of this order,

(ii) the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall promptly notify the Committee whether the Office is satisfied that the documents were produced as ordered, and, if not, the Chair shall be instructed to present forthwith, on behalf of the Committee, a report to the House outlining the material facts of the situation, and

(iii) the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall make as few redactions to the documents as is necessary to protect the identities of employees or sources of Canadian or allied intelligence agencies, and, as soon as reasonably possible, provide the redacted documents to the Clerk of the Committee to be distributed to all members of the Committee.”

The ongoing refusal by the Trudeau government to support a full investigation into China’s election interference is leading to even more calls for a full public inquiry.

Spencer Fernando